Activism

Proportional representation isn't all about the data

By Colin Bennett, Opinion, Times Colonist , November 4, 2018

Cambridge Analytica was a symptom of a pervasive belief that elections are now won with data, says Colin Bennett, a political science professor at the University of Victoria. He contends that these practices are far less common in countries that have multi-party systems rooted in elections based on proportional...

Questions remain over political party data practices after recent testimony, says expert Colin Bennett

by Laura Ryckewaert, The Hill Times , November 5, 2018

Little has been learned and questions remain after the recent and unprecedented House committee appearance by representatives from Canada’s major political parties, who spoke about and took questions on parties’ collection, use, and protection of personal data, says University of Victoria professor and privacy expert Colin Bennett. Read...

Is Sidewalk Labs doing enough to protect privacy? No

By David Murakami Wood and Bianca Wylie , Aug. 28, 2018, Opinion, Toronto Star. Before we answer the question of whether Sidewalk Labs is doing enough to protect privacy, we have to ask what Sidewalk Labs is up to in Toronto in the first place. Read more.

Are Data Driven Elections Ethical? – Some Lessons from the UK

A data-driven election can be ethical

In the run-up to the 2019 federal election, there needs to be far more transparency about how personal data is captured, processed, mined,...

Statement to House of Commons

By Colin Bennett, April 26, 2018 to the Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics: Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, AIQ and the Data-Driven Election

The current controversy concerning Cambridge Analytica, Aggregate IQ and Facebook has raised to public and media attention a number of interrelated issues, that need to be carefully distinguished: Read More

Watch the meeting...

Facebook: A mass media micro-surveillance monopoly

By Andrew Clement and David Lyon, April 23, 2018, Opinion, The Globe and Mail By blowing the whistle on Cambridge Analytica’s dodgy dealings with political campaigners in the U.S. and the U.K., Canadian Chris Wylie has given the social-media anthill a well-deserved kick. We’re now getting a rare glimpse into the hyperactive but hidden world of online-data trafficking –...

Cambridge Analytica shows the perils of ‘voter analytics’ industry

By Colin Bennett, Opinion, iPolitics , March 21, 2018

Recent revelations about the practices of the British company, Cambridge Analytica (CA), raise a larger set of questions about democracy: Should “Big Data” be playing a role in our elections? Should the “micro-targeting” of precise...

Facebook’s data scandal highlights risks of Canada’s weak internet sovereignty

By Andrew Clement, Contributed to The Globe and Mail , March 25, 2018

Canadians are rightfully troubled by recent news of Cambridge Analytica's abuse of Facebook data for psychographic profiling and political manipulation. The threats to personal privacy and democratic governance exposed in this case are not an isolated...

Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto waterfront tech hub must respect privacy, democracy

By Andrew Clement, Opinion, The Toronto Star , January 12, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto can potentially set an exemplary standard for digital governance with its experimental Quayside neighbourhood. But the project should proceed no further than its planning period if it cannot achieve basic principles of organizational responsiveness, transparency and accountability. Read More...

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